15 Facts About Aqua Teen Hunger Force

The end is near for the Adult Swim cartoon that got its start before Adult Swim even existed: Aqua Teen Hunger Force will begin airing its final season tomorrow. To celebrate those three talking fast food items and the rough-around-the-edges-and-on-everyone’s-eyes human neighbor of theirs, here are some facts about the show with the impressive longevity.

1. MASTER SHAKE, FRYLOCK, AND MEATWAD WERE ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FOR AN EPISODE OF SPACE GHOST COAST TO COAST.

Space Ghost writers Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro thought up the three characters as mascots of a fast food chain called Burger Trench that would ultimately annoy the protagonist. After initially failing to get the episode produced despite taking "20 to 30” passes at the script (it was eventually made into the episode “Kentucky Nightmare”), the two scribes pitched a show about their three creations to the network for its own series.

2. THE CREATORS MADE THEM DETECTIVES IN ORDER TO GET CARTOON NETWORK TO PUT THE SHOW ON THE AIR.

The network executives didn’t understand the show, which is why the three main characters were detectives in the first few episodes. By the fourth episode, “Mayhem of the Mooninites,” Willis and Maiellaro were comfortable enough to drop the whole detective conceit altogether—though they have alluded to it on occasion.

3. MASTER SHAKE ALMOST SOUNDED LIKE CHRISTOPHER WALKEN.

A leading candidate to voice the anthropomorphic drink made him sound like Christopher Walken. Other candidates tried to sound like superheros. Then Dana Snyder auditioned ...

4. DANA SNYDER BECAME MASTER SHAKE THANKS TO TWO DRUNKEN VOICEMAILS.

After a night out enjoying some adult beverages with a friend, Snyder followed Dave Willis’ directions and left his audition on his voicemail. Willis loved what he heard, but accidentally erased it and needed to play it for his boss. When Snyder tried it again sober, it didn’t have the same effect for Willis. So Snyder repeated his drunken night out, recorded it again at 3 a.m. the next morning, and won the part.

5. SCHOOLLY-D WROTE THE LYRICS TO THE ORIGINAL THEME SONG ON THE LIMO RIDE TO THE STUDIO.

His version was used for the first seven seasons.

6. THE MOONINITES WERE BASED ON AN INFAMOUSLY TERRIBLE VIDEO GAME.

Ignignokt and Err came about after Maiellaro remembered reading the legend of the E.T. Atari video game. It was such a commercial and critical disaster that the company supposedly buried millions of its cartridges in the desert (some were excavated in 2014). At first, the Aqua Teen house was built on the burial ground of the video game, but that potential backstory for the Mooninites’ proved to be too complex to be properly presented in one 11-minute episode.

7. ‘SPACECATAZ’ WAS A FAILED PILOT.

The Mooninites- and Plutonians-starring cold opens that ran throughout the show's third season were actually chopped-up bits from a full-length (11-minute) pilot of a planned spinoff created by Willis and Maiellaro. Adult Swim wouldn't even commit to a six-episode order.

8. THERE WAS A THREE-SECOND BLOOD RULE.

One network directive Willis and Maiellaro remembered and would address in the episode “Gee Whiz” was to “limit the blood to a three-second spray.”

9. WILLIS AND MAIELLARO WROTE EVERY EPISODE TOGETHER.

When the 10-episode final season concludes, the series will have been made up of 140 installments, and the co-creators wrote them all without an outline. Maiellaro once claimed that he doesn’t watch any television.

10. A PUBLICITY STUNT FOR THE MOVIE BECAME A HUGE BOMB SCARE IN BOSTON.

Lite-Brite-looking LED displays depicting the Mooninites were put in 11 different cities, including Boston. On January 31, 2007, Boston authorities determined the items to be suspicious and closed down roads and waterways in order to investigate. Turner Broadcasting ended up paying the Boston Police Department $2 million and apologizing for the confusion.

11. AN EPISODE ABOUT THE BOSTON INCIDENT WAS PRODUCED BUT NEVER AIRED.

Willis and Maiellaro wrote “Boston,” meant to be the season five premiere, to run about one year after the LED misunderstanding. Adult Swim executives decided not to air it on television nor make it available on DVD, even though the creators claimed it was “really tame” compared to what most fans were believing it to be. (Two months ago, the episode leaked online.)

12. IT’S GONE THROUGH FIVE DIFFERENT TITLES.

In the name of fun, the show was re-christened Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1 in season eight. In season nine it was renamed Aqua Something You Know Whatever. Season ten was titled Aqua TV Show Show, and the upcoming eleventh season has the triumphant title of Aqua Teen Hunger Force Forever.

13. ADULT SWIM RAN THE ENTIRE MOVIE ON APRIL FOOL'S DAY 2007.

As promised, it ran a couple of minutes of the feature film Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters on its airwaves 12 days before its movie debut, before Adult Swim aired the remainder of the movie in a very tiny box on the bottom left-hand corner, muted, while its regular programming took up the remainder of the screen.

14. IF IT WERE UP TO THE CREATORS, THE SHOW WOULD NOT BE ENDING.

Willis has said it was Adult Swim’s decision to move on from the show that helped create its brand. Maiellaro claimed that they found out about the series' cancelation from a friend at the animation studio—and that was when they were halfway through producing its final season.

15. BUT A MOVIE SEQUEL MIGHT BE ON ITS WAY.

Death Fighter has already been written.

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Ben Leuner, AMC
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15 Clever Breaking Bad Easter Eggs Hiding in Better Call Saul
Ben Leuner, AMC
Ben Leuner, AMC

As evidenced by Breaking Bad, Vince Gilligan and his cohorts have an eye for detail that’s nearly unrivaled. If anything, Better Call Saul—which is set several years before Breaking Bad—only proves the point. The series, soon beginning its fourth season, focuses on Jimmy McGill (soon to become Saul Goodman) and is full of references to its progenitor, some of which are pure fun, and some of which add a deeper meaning to what we already know. Here are 15 clever Breaking Bad Easter eggs hiding in Better Call Saul.

(Warning: Plenty of spoilers ahead for both series.)

1. BEING KEVIN COSTNER

In a throwaway moment in Breaking Bad, Saul mentions to Walt that he once convinced a woman he was Kevin Costner (“If you’re committed enough, you can make any story work”), and in the finale of the first season of Better Call Saul, we see the exact moment he was referring to. In case we thought that Saul was just making the story up for the sake of a pep talk, here’s the proof otherwise.

2. NEIGHBORHOOD MAINSTAY

If the diner where Jimmy first meets with the Kettlemans looked familiar to you, it’s for good reason. Loyola’s Diner featured in Breaking Bad as a mainstay of Mike’s—he met with Jesse there, as well as Lydia. It’s also, incidentally, a very real restaurant in Albuquerque. And while we’re on the subject of Mike and food, he’s been shown to be fond of pimento cheese sandwiches in both series.

3. ADDRESS UNKNOWN

David Costabile as Gale Boetticher in 'Breaking Bad'
Ursula Coyote, AMC

In Better Call Saul, it’s shown that Jimmy's office is at 160 Juan Tabo Boulevard (which is a real nail salon). Those of you with a head for directions might recall that that’s the same street that the ill-fated chemist Gale Boetticher lives on, at 6353 Juan Tabo Boulevard. Given how many Breaking Bad characters have shown up on the show so far, here’s hoping that we get a glimpse of the karaoke-loving chemist before the show ends.

4. A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME

When he’s kidnapped by Walt and Jesse after refusing to help a busted Badger, Saul spits out a variety of nonsense in an attempt to stay alive. He also drops a name: Ignacio. So who is he talking about? As we learn in Better Call Saul, this refers to Nacho, who’s become one of the secondary leads on the show. “Nacho” is a nickname, short for Ignacio, which makes sense as a connection given how closely he’s been working with Jimmy/Saul.

5. CHEAP TRICKS

Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn in 'Better Call Saul'
Michele K. Short, AMC/Sony Pictures

There’s another callback to the first time that Walt, Jesse, and Saul meet. Despite still having his hands tied behind his back, when Saul agrees to help Walt and Jesse, he tells them to each put a dollar in his pocket in order to secure attorney-client privilege. It seems that Saul got that idea from Kim, who, when she decides to help Jimmy after discovering he’s falsified evidence, tells him to give her a dollar for exactly the same reason.

6. OLD AFFLICTIONS

In yet another reference to that fateful first meeting, we learn that Saul isn’t bluffing when he tells Walt and Jesse that he has bad knees. He says the same thing when cops apprehend him in the first season of Better Call Saul. As to why he’s got bad knees to begin with, it all comes from his time as “Slippin’ Jimmy,” when he used to stage falls in order to earn a little bit of money.

7. CAR TALK

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul in 'Breaking Bad'
Ursula Coyote, AMC

Saul Goodman drives a white 1997 Cadillac DeVille with the vanity plate “LWYRUP.” Jimmy McGill’s ride is much more modest: a yellow Suzuki Esteem with a red door. That said, in the pilot of Better Call Saul, we very briefly see a white Cadillac DeVille—Jimmy parks his car next to it, in a truly blink-and-you-miss-it allusion to what’s to come. (Gus, notably, is driving the same navy blue Volvo in both shows.)

8. HOME SWEET HOME

One of the retirement homes that Jimmy visits in his quest to drum up business is Casa Tranquila. Though it doesn’t feature too heavily in Better Call Saul, it’s a key location in Breaking Bad as the home of Hector Salamanca, and the place where he kills his longtime nemesis Gus Fring. It’s a nice touch to revisit the location, especially given the fact that Better Call Saul gives us the story as to how Hector wound up in a wheelchair in the first place.

9. WHAT’S YOUR POISON?

There’s also a nice bit of brand continuity with the made-up tequila Zafiro Añejo. Gus poisons a bottle to get back at Don Eladio in Breaking Bad, and we see the same blue bottle pop up in Better Call Saul when Jimmy and Kim scam a cocky lawyer named Ken. Ken, for his part, seems to be reaping a constant stream of bad karma, as he’s also in Breaking Bad as a victim of Heisenberg’s wrath. He swipes Walt’s parking spot—and has his car set on fire for his trouble.

10. THIS LITTLE PIGGY

Though Mike is hard as nails, he’s got a soft spot the size of Texas for his granddaughter Kaylee. He gifts her a pink pig plush in Better Call Saul, which crops up again in Breaking Bad under slightly less cute circumstances. He uses the doll as a distraction when an assassination attempt is made on his life.

11. WORD GAMES

Giancarlo Esposito as Gus Fring in 'Breaking Bad'
Ursula Coyote, AMC

The first letters of the episode titles of the second season of Better Call Saul are an anagram for “FRING’S BACK.” It’s a granular sort of trick that the creators have pulled off before: four of the episodes of season two of Breaking Bad spell out “Seven Thirty-Seven Down Over ABQ.” In the season finale, a 737 plane does indeed go down over Albuquerque, or ABQ.

12. SENTIMENTAL VALUE

Given that Saul’s Breaking Bad office has a lot of strange objects in it, it’d be easy to miss the octagonal desk. As it turns out, the offices of Saul Goodman aren’t the desk’s first home: it’s seen in the background of Kim’s office in Better Call Saul. It’s retroactive, sure, but it’s still nice to know that Saul has some mementos around.

13. MOVIE NIGHT

Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn in 'Better Call Saul'
Ursula Coyote, AMC/Sony Pictures Television

There’s also a little sentimental value in the name of Saul’s holding company, Ice Station Zebra Associates, which he uses to help Walt launder money in Breaking Bad. As we discover in Better Call Saul, Ice Station Zebra is Kim’s favorite movie, due to her father’s affection for it. Though Kim is physically absent from Breaking Bad, small details seem to tie back to her all the time.

14. SET DRESSING

Krazy-8, may he rest in peace, also shows up in Better Call Saul. The van that he drives has the logo for Tampico Furniture on it, and he’s wearing a uniform with the logo as well. Tampico is where Walt, as he recalls in Breaking Bad, bought Walter Jr.’s crib. Unfortunately, those fond memories aren’t quite enough to save Krazy-8’s skin.

15. BEWARE OF BUGS

Before Mike leaves Philly for Albuquerque, a bartender tells him to be mindful of tarantulas. The spider plays a key role in Breaking Bad later on, as a young boy’s pursuit of the bug puts him in Walt’s path—and Todd’s path, by proxy. Determined to make a good impression on Walt, and knowing that there can’t be any witnesses to what they’re doing, Todd shoots the boy in one of the most shocking and cold-blooded moments in the entire series.

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A New Stranger Things Video Game Is in the Works
Netflix
Netflix

The world of Stranger Things is ready to get the proper video game treatment. TechRadar exclusively revealed that the hit sci-fi series from Netflix will be coming to consoles, courtesy of Telltale Games. Though details are scarce, this seems to be the beginning of a working relationship between the two companies as it was also announced that Telltale’s popular Minecraft: Story Mode game will soon be brought to Netflix as a “5-episode interactive narrative series,” according to the site.

Though Minecraft will be experienced through Netflix itself, the Stranger Things game will be a traditional console/computer release. If you’re unfamiliar with Telltale, its brand of games tends to favor a branching narrative experience that emphasizes player choice over button mashing. These point-and-click adventures usually don’t have a standard release schedule, either; instead, they’re split up into parts and distributed episodically for download. The games are usually released on consoles, including the Nintendo Switch, as well as PC, Android, and iOS.

While the highlight of Telltale’s work is widely considered to be its Walking Dead adaptations, they’ve also found success with other blockbuster franchises like Game of Thrones, Guardians of the Galaxy, and its latest effort, Batman: The Enemy Within. There’s no word on whether or not the Stranger Things cast will be involved in the game, or if it will follow the established Telltale formula. In a statement to TechRadar, a spokesperson for the developer said, “we're excited to reveal details on these projects later in the year.”

This might not be the end of Netflix’s foray into the video game world. While the company has no plans to enter the market itself, TechRadar did find a job listing at Netflix for a Manager of Interactive Licensing who will "use games as a marketing tactic to capture demand and delight our member community (ex: Stranger Things: The Game)." May your dreams of a Narcos economic simulator game be realized.

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